"Bark 'n' Scratch"

Volume III - Issue 3:  January 21, 2005
Published by:
Christopher Aust, Master Trainer

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In Today's Issue ...

=>  Just Visiting? Please Subscribe Here.  ->
=>  Christopher's Drool
=>  Cooked Food Diet, Part 2
=>  Quote of the Week
=>  Mail Bag
=>  Hands on Healing
=>  Recommended Stuff
=>  A Helping Hand

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Christopher's Drool

Hi Gang!

I am keeping this week's column fairly short, as I have simply been incredibly busy. Between launching the dog gear line and launching the audio classes at the end of the month, it has been rather hectic.

Now, I don't know if I have mentioned it here before, but I volunteer two days a week to help my daughter's kindergarten class. They have a great teacher and the kids are a lot of fun to work with. Even though I have been doing this all year, I still find it incredible how insightful these little ones are.

They call me Mr. Chris (or just Chris) and have made the determination I am a walking jungle gym and allow me too be as silly as I want to be. It is the best therapy/stress reliever anybody could ask for. So, if you're ever having a crazy week, go spend a day with a five year old and pretend to be one yourself. It's the best anti-aging toxin there is!

This week's article is going to expand on last week's a bit. I received a lot of questions, so, I want to make sure everyone has a good grasp on the subject of what to feed your dog.

I also had a lot of people ask about the audio classes I am involved with. These classes are fantastic for everyone from the professional to the average pet owner. I strongly suggest everyone go take a look at the line up of speakers and sign up for the free initial class. For information, please go to:


The Paws for Change calendar is still available and we have quite a few orders. If you haven't seen them yet, they are very high quality filled with pictures of rescued dogs that are just incredible. Lets face it, we all need a calendar so why not get one that helps the furkids. Go check them out at:


Keep those letters and suggestions coming. They are greatly appreciated.

Okay, that's it for now. I'm outta here!



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Hi Chris,

I loved the article on cooked food diets for dogs but was wondering a couple of things. First, are there certain foods I should avoid giving my dog? Second, with a cooked food diet, will I need to change the amount of food I feed my dogs? I have also noticed my dog isn't pooping as much since putting them on cooked food. Should I be concerned by this?

Thanks for your help. I love the newsletter!

Thomas Steen
Boston Mass.

Cooked Food Diet, Part 2

When I first thought about the cooked food diet, I really thought only about what a hassle it was going to be. Now that I am feeding it to my dogs I wouldn't ever go back. The benefits simply outweigh any inconvenience. My dogs are not only healthier, but I truly believe happier as a result.

The Perks

Along with this, there are certain perks that go along with a cooked food diet. First: fewer stools. Because the dog is able to digest a cooked diet better, there is less poop to scoop in the yard. This also tells me they are able to fully assimilate the nutrients in the food resulting in less waste.

The next “perk” is no doggie breath. This, again, can be attributed to the dog's ability to better digest their food resulting in less stomach gas which has been directly linked to halitosis. Being someone who likes a good puppy kiss, I love this particular perk.

With a balanced cooked food diet, a dog's coat and skin will become healthier, stronger and look more lustrous. As a result, you will see less day-to-day shedding. I don't know about you, but I can't stand having to clean dog hair up in the house every day. Additionally, this makes grooming easier as well.


I also saw a decrease in the amount of food my dogs needed in order to maintain their weight and energy level. You should start by simply watching your dog's figure and monitoring their weight. Give them the same amount of cooked food as you did kibble and just keep an eye on them. If your dog's weight is fine to start with and you start to see them putting on a few pounds, simply cut back a little on their intake. If they start to lose weight, increase it. Like people, every dog is different.

My dogs weigh approximately 40 lbs, and they get approximately a cup and a half of food a day. If they have had a very active day, they may get a little more but for the most part this seems to be all they need to maintain their weight and energy level. They also get a few baby carrots at night as a little snack.

If you aren't sure, check with your vet or a canine nutritionist. They will be able to help you adjust your dog's portions to make sure your dog is getting the needed nutrition. Remember, you really have to take into consideration the age, activity and overall health of your pet.


There are some things you should avoid giving your dog, as they can be toxic to them. Below is a list of some, but not all. If you have a question about an item you are considering feeding your dog, check with your vet or nutritionist.

Yeast Dough

Now, before I depart, I want to direct you to an interesting URL:


At this site you will find the brands of dog foods the FDA found pentobarbital in. If you don't know what that is, it is the drug used to euthanize animals. It is not clear how the pentobarbital made it into the food, but it was there. Most likely it comes from downed farm animals that could be used for human consumption.

Remember, most commercial dog foods are not made from human quality food. The standards are extremely low in most cases, and there is really no telling what is most of them.

Now, I don't want to make it sound as though there are no quality commercial foods out there. There are some fine ones made of human quality ingredients, but you need to do your research no matter what kind of diet you decide to feed. After all, if the roles were reversed, you would want them to do the same for you.

This article may be republished using the following attribution box:
Copyright ©2004 Christopher Aust, Master Dog Trainer & Creator:
The Natural Cooperative Training System (NCTS) for Dogs
The Instinctual Development System (IDS) for Puppies
Subscribe to the BARK 'n' SCRATCH Newsletter: subscribe@Master-Dog-Training.com
VISIT NOW: http://www.Master-Dog-Training.com

Quote of the Week

My goal in life is to become as wonderful as my dog thinks I am.

~ Toby & Eileen Green ~

Mail Bag


When I first read your article on cooked food, I thought you were nuts! lol The more I thought about it though and did the math, I realized how much sense it made. Not only do I know exactly what my dog is getting now, I am saving about $15.00 a month. Thanks for a great newsletter!

Monica V.


My dogs love your cooked food diet and so did our vet. When we took her (the dog) in for her annual last weekend, the vet said you hit the nail on the head. Can't thank you enough for all the good info you send each week. It is so appreciated.

Marcus Manning

Hands on Healing
by Kyla Sims

There is nothing better than the feeling we get from petting our dogs. It always puts a smile on my face, and now we know that it has many heath benefits for us. But do you know all the benefits it can have on our pets? What if you took the act of petting your dog to a new level? In this article we will discuss the benefits of giving your dog a massage and a few techniques to help get you started.

Getting Started

There really is no right or wrong way to massage your dog. You should make sure that your dog is comfortable with what you are doing, and is really enjoying it. Some dogs prefer a lighter touch while others like a deep tissue massage. It will take practice to find out what techniques your dog likes. You should also consider what you want the massage to do for your dog. Is it to help them relax, or to help relieve pain from a sprained muscle, or both?

Massage for your dog has the many of the same benefits as it does for us. Massage helps to loosen the muscles, aids in blood flow (circulation), and helps remove lactic acid from sore muscles. It will loosen scar tissue and tight tendons after injuries or surgery and will relax muscle spasms, strains, and sprains. Massage also helps to release endorphins, natural chemicals in the brain that help to relieve pain and promote feelings of love and well-being.

Massage can also help with your pup's mental health as well. It eases stress and allows your dog to relax. Aggression, depression, over-protectiveness, anger, and other dark emotions can be helped by the relaxation a massage can bring. Another benefit to giving your pup a massage is the close bond that will be formed between the two of you.

If you regularly brush your dog's coat this would be a great time to see if your dog likes a little massage. After grooming the coat is free from tangles and debris, and you can massage much easier. When first starting, it is best to stick with a two to three minute session and then work your way up.

Watch for your dog's reactions when you are massaging a specific area. If your dog moves or jumps, looks apprehensive or fearful move to a different spot or lighten your pressure. You want the massage to be beneficial and pleasurable for your pup.

Different Stokes

Here are some specific strokes to help get you started. You want to make sure that you are moving the skin under your fingers; this will get the blood flowing. Once you get the skin moving you can adjust your pressure depending on the type of stroke you are using.

Ear Stroke: This stroke is the best way to relax a nervous dog or settle an aggressive dog. The ears seem to be directly connected to the brain, making your dog think rather that react. With the ear flap between your thumb and fingers, gently massage the base of the ear. Then, stroke from the base to the tip of the ear. Repeat several times.

Basic Circular Stroke: with this stroke, you simply move your hands in a circular motion. This helps to relax your dog and get the blood flowing Long Stroke: This stroke is very similar to petting and is very relaxing. Start at the base of the ears or neck and stroke slowly to the base of the tail. This stroke should be long and slow and light in pressure.

Kneading Dough: This technique is great for sore muscles. Once you have relaxed your dog with the above strokes focus in on specific muscles that might be sore. Isolate one muscle at a time and gently knead that muscle as you would bread dough. This movement helps the blood flow to the muscle and removes waste buildup.

The Benefits

There are a bounty of benefits your dog receives when you give him a massage. First your dog will get your undivided attention and this will help bring the two of you closer together. Touch is necessary for survival. Gentle massage can be invaluable to the well-being of your dog. It can be particularly helpful to orphaned pups, and newly adopted puppies or dogs. Older dogs that may be a little confused seem to be more grounded after a massage. If your dog is hurt, stressed, tense, or frightened, gently massage his ears using the ear stroke.

If your dog has hip displasia gently massage the inside of the thigh. Then use the kneading dough technique to help loosen the tight band in the muscle. Be careful though as an overly deep massage will hurt.

An all over body massage will help the dog suffering from arthritis. Use circular motions over the entire body, emphasizing the muscles around and over the joints. An all-body massage with slow and gentle circular motions will relax a dog with behavioral problems. Don't forget to do the ear stroke. An all-body massage with long, body length strokes will wake up and stimulate an overweight, or lazy dog. This is helpful to get a dog moving after an illness, injury, or surgery.

If you have a hyperactive dog that gets so crazy he won't listen to your commands, try this. Put a leash on him and have him lie down in front of you on the floor. Start with the ear flap rub, then move into a circular massage. Massage the entire body until he is quite relaxed. He should be able to control himself now. Get up while you tell him to “stay” and then give him his favorite toy.

As you can see massage can be very beneficial to you and your dog. Through massage you are helping to heal your dogs body, mind and spirit. Make sure you always make time to give your dog a nice 5 minute massage. You can do it everyday if you'd like or just once a week. The more you do it, though, the greater impact it will have on your dog's health and well-being.

About the Author

Kyla Sims is the president of Spot Organics and the creator/formulator of their aromatherapy line. Having studied with Australasian College of Health Sciences, she is a strong advocate for the use of aromatherapy and alternative medical treatments for shelter and rescue groups and the health and wellness of companion animals everywhere. For more information, please go to:


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Joke of the Week

A Helping Hand

A couple are awakened at 3 o'clock in the morning by a loud pounding on the door. The man gets up and goes to the door where a drunken stranger, standing in the pouring rain, is asking for a push.

"Not a chance," says the husband, "It is three o'clock in the morning." He slams the door and returns to bed.

"Who was that," asked his wife.

"Just some drunk guy asking for a push," he answers.

"Did you help him," she asks.

"No. I did not. It is three o'clock in the morning, and it is pouring rain outside!"

His wife said, "Can't you remember about three months ago when we broke down and those two guys helped us? I think you should help him, and you should be ashamed of yourself!"

The man does as he is told (of course!), gets dressed and goes out into the pouring rain. He calls out into the dark, "Hello! Are you still there?"

"Yes," comes back the answer.

"Do you still need a push," calls out the husband.

"Yes! Please," comes the reply from the darkness.

"Where are you," asks the husband.

"Over here on the swing," replies the drunk.

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Thank You For Reading!  Have a Terrific Week!

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The Legal Mumbo-Jumbo

The BARK 'n' SCRATCH Newsletter is published by Christopher Aust Copyright © 2005 All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without the express written consent of the publisher or contributors.

We accept no responsibility for your use of any contributed information contained herein. All of the information presented in BARK 'n' SCRATCH is published in good faith. Any comments stated in this newsletter are strictly the opinion of the writer or publisher.

We reserve the right to edit and make suitable for publication, if necessary, any articles published in this newsletter. We reserve the right to publish all reader comments, including the name of the writer.

Christopher Aust, Master Dog Trainer & Creator:
The Natural Cooperative Training System (NCTS) for Dogs
The Instinctual Development System (IDS) for Puppies

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